Michael Webb is originally from Henley-on-Thames, England and studied at the Regent Street Polytechnic School of Architecture (now the University of Westminster). His project, Furniture Factory, designed during his fourth year at the Polytechnic, found its way into an exhibition at MoMA entitled Visionary Architecture in 1960. The following year his thesis project, the Sin Palace, repeatedly failed at the Polytechnic—nevertheless it became widely published and was featured in First Projects, an exhibition in 2009 at the Architectural Association in London. Today, he is reconstructing the model with a group of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute architecture students.
He was a founding member of Archigram—a collective of young British architects formed in the 1960s that published a magazine with the same title. The young architects rebelled against what they saw as the failure of the architectural establishment in Britain to produce buildings reflecting the dynamic changes of the time. For the last 25+ years, a large exhibition of the group’s work has been touring world capitals, and in 2006 Archigram was awarded the Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects. Archigram’s work was recently acquired by the M+ Museum, in Hong Kong, China, and a recent publication, Archigram THE BOOK features each member’s contributions to Archigram.
Webb is known for his perspective work, particularly the Temple Island Study, which resulted in an eponymously title book published by the AA in 1987, along with his Drive-In House series. A recent monograph dedicated to the study of visionary architecture, entitled Michael Webb: Two Journeys, features Webb’s perspective drawings and paintings over the years, and highlights the philosophies influencing his experimental work.
He has had solo shows at The Cooper Union, Columbia University, Storefront for Art and Architecture, The Architectural League of New York, the University of Manitoba at Winnipeg, and the Art Net Gallery in London. Webb was a fellow at the Centre for Contemporary Architecture in Montreal from 2010-11, and has been honored with grants from the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Graham Foundation for Advance Studies in the Fine Arts.
Webb has taught design studios and drawing seminars at Virginia Tech, the Rhode Island School of Design, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Rennslaer Polytechnic Institute, Pratt Institute and The Cooper Union, where he occupied the Charles Gwathmey Chair.